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Catching up with Lon Kruger – pre Texas Tech

by Stephanie Kuzydym Published: January 16, 2013

Oklahoma’s third conference game of the season tips at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Lloyd Noble Center.

The Sooners are coming off a big Bedlam win, 77-68.

In this week’s catching up with Lon Kruger, I figured we should switch it up. You don’t always get to hear Lon Kruger’s voice and he did an interview earlier this week with Sirius XM radio.

Transcript is below:

Jason Horowitz: Lon Kruger, the head coach at Oklahoma. His team coming off a victory in Beldam over the weekend over Oklahoma State and playing very good basketball in his second season in Norman and Lon joining us now on the program.

Lon how’s year two going now with the program?

Sooner's Buddy Hield (3) motions for more crowd noise during the second half as the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) defeat the Oklahoma State Cowboys (OSU) 77-68 in NCAA, men's college basketball at The Lloyd Noble Center on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013 in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
Sooner's Buddy Hield (3) motions for more crowd noise during the second half as the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) defeat the Oklahoma State Cowboys (OSU) 77-68 in NCAA, men's college basketball at The Lloyd Noble Center on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013 in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
 

Lon Kruger: Year two’s going fine. Thanks Jason. Thanks Coach Cremins

Bobby Cremins: Lonny I’ve been working on my golf game but you’re going to have to give me three aside.

Kruger: You know better than that and certainly I know better than that, more importantly, but always fun for sure.

Horowitz: Well, the ball travels father in Oklahoma than it does in Charleston if memory serves me right.

Kruger: /laughs

Horowitz: Coach, you’re coming off the win against Oklahoma State. You guys have gotten four in a row. When you just look at the team in terms of what you have done, Buddy Hield inserted into the starting lineup. What does that change for your roster?

Kruger: Buddy’s a guy with great energy, great enthusiasm. Just a live body and a good basketball player. He brings a lot of things both defensively and offensively. He’s a very good rebounder. He’s a guy that likes to compete and does it with great enthusiasm. His personality becomes a little bit contagious for us.

Cremins: Lonny, you’re ahead of schedule in my book. I didn’t think you were going to be this good, this soon. I know this is only your second year at Oklahoma. I know it was tough for you to leave a very good UNLV program. You’re starting to become a great builder of programs. Second year and all of a sudden, you’re playing some great basketball. What’s the key factor for that happening?

Kruger: We’ve got good guys. We’ve got good attitudes. They’re willing to work hard. We’ve got a long way to go, as you well know. Just played two conference games and every conference game is tough and we’ve got 16 more. So it’s very early in the grind but this group’s got a chance to get better. That’s the exciting thing for us as coaches. We look out there and we see a bunch of guys that are unselfish and they come to work every day and they’ve got a good attitude about playing together and making each other better. From that standpoint, we do have a chance to get better and that’s exciting.

Cremins: You’re starting two freshman. Inserting the freshman from the Bahamas, has that been a real key?

Kruger: It has been. We’ve got three freshman guards. Buddy Hield, as you mentioned. Je’lon Hornbeak and then Isaiah Cousins, who are all very competitive and very talented. They’ve got some growing to do, for sure, but they’re doing it on the run. They learn from each ball game. Then we’ve got three starters from last year coming off the bench. It’s kind of a good blend of veteran experience and new enthusiasm. It’s nice to have that coming off the bench.

Horowitz: You’re going to like Isaiah Cousins because you like New York guys. A Mount Vernon product? You’re going to like him.

Kruger: Isaiah’s a good time. You’ll like him a lot and right now he feels a little bit harnessed but we’re trying to get him to free up and go and I think he’ll be a key for us during the remainder of Big 12 play.

by Stephanie Kuzydym
Reporter
Stephanie Kuzydym learned at a young age that life is a game of inches. That's just one reason why she loves football. Kuzydym joined The Oklahoman in July 2012. Before arriving in the state, Kuzydym was an intern for the sports departments at...
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